Georg von Holtzbrinck publishing group

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Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH publishing group

legal form GmbH
founding 1948
Seat Stuttgart , Germany
management Stefan von Holtzbrinck , Chairman of the Management Board
Number of employees 3,949 (2016)
sales 1.223 billion euros (2016)
Branch media
As of December 31, 2016

Headquarters of the Holtzbrinck Holding on Gänsheide in Stuttgart

The Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH publishing group (also Holtzbrinck Publishing Group ) is one of the largest media companies in Germany and also operates internationally. The holding company was founded in Stuttgart in 1971 . After the death of his sister Monika Schoeller (1939–2019), only Stefan von Holtzbrinck is a partner in the publishing group . After the restructuring in 2009, the company concentrated on science, education and book publishing, while the separated Dieter von Holtzbrinck Medien (DvH Medien) focuses on the press and consumer magazines. The time belongs to both publishing houses equally.


The publishing group is divided into three business areas:

  1. the book sector ( Macmillan Publishers with the German public publishers S. Fischer Verlag , Rowohlt Verlag , Kiepenheuer & Witsch , Droemer Knaur , Argon Verlag ),
  2. the US higher education business (Macmillan Higher Education and Macmillan New Ventures) and
  3. the digital units (including Holtzbrinck Digital, Zeitverlag , Spotlight , Prognos ).

Holtzbrinck Digital is the strategic internet holding company and is organized in three divisions:

  • Digital Science: u. a. Altmetric, figshare , readcube, überResearch, BIORAFT
  • Digital Education: u. a. iversity, MIAMED, Lecturio, Bettermarks

Holtzbrinck Digital is involved in the independent venture capitalist Holtzbrinck Ventures.

Holtzbrinck brought the specialist publishing division (Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan and Macmillan Education) into SpringerNature, the joint venture with Springer Science + Business Media.

Holtzbrinck holds 53% of the shares in SpringerNature. The digital initiatives of the book publishers have been bundled in the Holtzbrinck ePublishing (HeP) competence center since 2016.


Started as a magazine and book advertising company in 1931

The cornerstone of the publishing group was Georg von Holtzbrinck 's development of a magazine and book advertising business since 1931. Its success enabled him to acquire the German publishing expedition (Devex) in 1936, which signed a contract with the German Labor Front (DAF). His NSDAP membership since 1933 and relationships of a relative with Hitler's private chancellery were helpful in this regard. Devex took over the distribution of the DAF magazines Beauty of Work and Joy and Work for two years .

New foundations and expansions after 1945

In the denazification in 1948 with a fine of 1,200 RM occupied, the cornerstone of which was post-war period in terms of the Stuttgart house library , founded in 1948 by Georg von Holtzbrinck down. It traded under the German Book Association from around 1959.

From the 1960s onwards, S. Fischer Verlag and holdings in Rowohlt , Droemer Knaur and Kindler Verlag were also acquired, and the entry into the Saarbrücker Zeitung and Handelsblatt - which gave rise to the establishment of the holding company - was realized.

In the mid-1980s, the company began expanding into English-speaking countries, initially to the USA (with the takeover of the Scientific American and Henry Holt publishers ), the acquisition of the remaining 33 percent in Rowohlt Verlag from the New York Times in 1984 and since the mid-1990s Years through the takeover of Macmillan Publishers (with the magazine Nature ) in the countries of the Commonwealth as well as in the markets of Asia, Africa and Latin America. In 1991 the Holtzbrinck publishing group acquired the Mainpresse Richterdruck company with the daily newspapers Main-Post and Fränkisches Volksblatt . In 1992 Gustav Fischer Verlag in Stuttgart was taken over, which in 1999 was merged with Urban & Schwarzenberg, which has also been part of the group since 1998, to form the second largest medical publisher in the German-speaking area, Urban & Fischer . The German Book Association was sold in order to invest more in electronic media . In 1993 they acquired Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York's modern literary publisher .

In 2002, the publishing group sought a merger with Berlin media, but this was prohibited in 2003. In 2003 the Holtzbrinck publishing group sold Urban & Fischer Verlag to the Dutch science publisher Elsevier . In October 2005 the company decided to sell the shares in Berliner Verlag (Verlag der Berliner Zeitung ).

On January 3, 2007 the group bought StudiVZ Ltd. A press spokesman said the price was "over 50 million euros, but well below 100 million", which many media doubted. In 2012 StudiVZ was sold again.

In July 2007 the Internet subsidiary Holtzbrinck eLAB GmbH bought the Internet portals and of the Netzeitung Group from BV Deutsche Zeitungsholding . Previously already been acquired. In the same year, Holtzbrinck also participated in the startup TopTarif Internet GmbH, an online comparison portal for gas , electricity and motor vehicles, through Holtzbrinck Ventures .


Also in 2007, a subsidiary was founded with epubli and and entered in the Berlin commercial register, which appears online as a self-publishing platform . This allows the building self-publications as print-on-demand and / or e-book - book editions are created, the sales possibilities it created print editions , however, in comparison with Books on Demand is not as far-reaching. In 2016, Holtzbrinck merged the self-publishing offerings Epubli and Neobooks under the name "Neopubli".

Restructuring in 2009

On June 1, 2009 there was a major restructuring within the publishing group. Dieter von Holtzbrinck , until then one of the three shareholders each with a third of the GvH, sold his shares to the other two shareholders, Stefan von Holtzbrinck and Monika Schoeller. In return, Dieter von Holtzbrinck took over several subsidiaries of the GvH, in particular newspapers and magazines with an opinion-forming role throughout the country, and bundled them in a new company, Dieter von Holtzbrinck Medien GmbH (DvH Medien). These include:

  • Der Tagesspiegel , an important daily newspaper and group for the capital Berlin
  • the Handelsblatt publishing group , with the exception of three smaller publishers in the Handelsblatt-Fachverlag sub -group that do not produce newspapers: the publishing house of the specialist magazine Lebensmittelpraxis, the book publisher Schäffer-Poeschel and the language publisher Spotlight
  • 50% of Zeitverlag (weekly newspaper Die Zeit ) and its operational management. The other 50% stayed with the GvH.
  • the advertising marketer IQ Media Marketing GmbH, which also continued to work for the Georg von Holtzbrinck publishing group
  • 50% in the business database GBI-Genios (the other partner here is Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH).

Gradual withdrawal from the newspaper business

The newspapers with only regional importance initially remained with GvH. The Main-Post media group in Würzburg was sold to the Pressedruck media group (Augsburger Allgemeine) in December 2010 .

The majority stake in the Saarbrücker newspaper group ( Saarbrücker Zeitung mit Pfälzischer Merkur , Trierischer Volksfreund and Lausitzer Rundschau ) was sold to the Rheinische Post Mediengruppe in 2012 with effect from January 1, 2013 . The Südkurier in Konstanz has belonged 25% to the Holtzbrinck Group since 1980 and 100% since 1990. On November 21, 2011 the takeover of 51 percent of the shares in Südkurier Medienhaus by Mediengruppe Pressedruck (Augsburger Allgemeine) was announced. At the end of 2013, Pressedruck also took over the remaining shares from the Georg von Holtzbrinck publishing group.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH & Co.KG: Consolidated financial statements for the business year from 01/01/2016 to 12/31/2016. Stuttgart, June 2, 2017. In: Federal Gazette , January 16, 2018, accessed on 19 January 2018. -
    The Sueddeutsche Zeitung numbered beginning of 2018, the number of employees to 4700 and sales to 3 billion euros; see Stefan von Holtzbrinck: Revelation book is “not a Trump scolding”. In: January 22, 2018, accessed August 16, 2019.
  2. Dieter von Holtzbrinck participates in Zeit-Verlag, March 26, 2009
  3. Back of chairs in Stuttgart. In: book report. August 12, 2015, accessed December 8, 2016 .
  4. Holtzbrinck Digital | Home. In: Retrieved December 12, 2016 .
  5. Holtzbrinck Ventures. In:, accessed on December 12, 2017.
  6. Back of chairs in Stuttgart. In: August 12, 2015, accessed December 8, 2016 .
  7. ^ VerkehrsRundschau, Verlag Heinrich Vogel, Springer Fachmedien Munich: The publishers Holtzbrinck and Springer found a joint venture. In: January 20, 2015, accessed December 8, 2016 .
  8. ^ Staff for overarching topics. In: September 21, 2016, accessed December 8, 2016 .
  9. Georg von Holtzbrinck - beneficiary of the Nazis. In: Cicero , accessed on December 12, 2017 (conviction as a Nazi follower on February 25, 1948).
  10. ^ Sybille Grübel: Timeline of the history of the city from 1814-2006. In: Ulrich Wagner (Hrsg.): History of the city of Würzburg. 4 volumes, Volume I-III / 2, Theiss, Stuttgart 2001-2007; III / 1–2: From the transition to Bavaria to the 21st century. Volume 2, 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-1478-9 , pp. 1225–1247, here: p. 1246 ( preview in Google book search).
  11. End of a bad investment. Holtzbrinck-Verlag sells StudiVZ . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . September 11, 2012, ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed December 8, 2016] Source: FAZ.NET/AP).
  12. Portfolio: Top tariff ( Memento from March 5, 2008 in the Internet Archive ). In:, accessed on December 12, 2017 (Holtzbrinck invests in TopTarif).
  13. Homepage epubli. In:, accessed on December 12, 2017.
  14. Holtzbrinck is sharpening its self-publishing brands. In: October 14, 2016, accessed December 8, 2016 .
  15. Jens Schröder: Holtzbrinck sold to Holtzbrinck . In: . March 26, 2009. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  16. ^ Meedia editorial team: New details on the Holtzbrinck deal . In: . March 27, 2009. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  17. Isabell Hülsen : Million deal: Dieter von Holtzbrinck buys half-brother newspapers and magazines . In: Spiegel Online , SpiegelNet GmbH, March 26, 2009. Accessed December 16, 2015. 
  18. bn: Now it's official: Holtzbrinck is selling “Main-Post” . In: . December 20, 2010. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  19. Marco Saal: Holtzbrinck: Mediengruppe Pressedruck takes over the majority in "Südkurier" . In: . November 21, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  20. ^ Katrin Ansorge: Newspaper deal: Mediengruppe Pressedruck takes over "Südkurier" completely . In: . December 20, 2013. Accessed December 16, 2015.